Sex Toys vs Kids’ Toys: Unexpected Results From A Safety Study

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A new report by the Swedish inspection authority reveals that sex toys are safer than children’s toys in terms of exposure to chemicals.

The report released on Monday says fewer sex toys contain dangerous chemicals than children’s toys, after discovering that only two percent of a proportion of surveyed sex toys contained banned chemicals.

In the agency’s 2015 inspection, dangerous chemical substances, including lead, were found in 15 percent of children’s toys in Sweden. 112 toys were checked from 29 different companies. Seventeen contained hazardous chemicals.

kids toys

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The Swedish Chemicals Agency (Kemi) said among the 44 products investigated, one plastic dildo was found to contain chlorinated paraffins, which is suspected of causing cancer.

Three of the 44 examined sex toys, made of leather and bondage tape, contained phthalates, used as a plasticiser, at levels above 0.1 percent, the agency said.



Phthalates are not banned in sex toys but are on the EU list of chemicals that are of “very high concern.” It can affect the hormonal balance and cause infertility.

Speaking to the media, Frida Ramstrom, an inspector for the agency, said the discovery was a bit surprising as it is the agency’s first time of conducting such a study.

Ramstrom said tough European regulations over chemical substances in products was a reason behind the safety of the sex toys, adding that sex toys are used close to the body and one (therefore) chooses better chemicals,” Ramstrom said.

According to Ramstrom, it is difficult to determine exactly why more children’s toys contain dangerous chemicals. More so, it is difficult to toughen demands over safety of the products, since many kids toys are imported from Asia.

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Though Kemi’s inspections are random checks which do not reflect the contents of all toys in the market, the presence of hazardous chemicals in products, such as toys, clothing and textile and childcare articles, remains a key reason for products being withdrawn, or prevented from reaching the EU market.